SAN FRANCISCO - A family visiting the Bay Area for a medical treatment for their 12-year-old son were the victims of a car burglary. The burglars made off with a beloved stuffed toy, that has been with the boy through countless hospital visits.
A beloved stuffed Cookie Monster has been the constant companion for Aidan Carter, through thick and through thin.
"When I see him, I imagine him like he's actually alive, like Toy Story alive," said Aidan. "I see him, like, he's always going to be there for me."
Aidan has been diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called Hunters Syndrome. His family made the 3,000 mile trek to San Francisco from their home in Stratham, New Hampshire to receive a new course of treatment at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.
The family arriving January 1, took a trip to the beach near the San Francisco Zoo to relax after the long journey.
"We were walking back to the car and my kids noticed the two back windows of the rental car had been shattered," said Jennifer Carter, Aidan's mother. "And that's when we discovered that some of out items had been stolen."
Among the items the burglars made off with were Aidan's backpack with Cookie Monster inside. Aidan's mom said Cookie Monster is more than just a stuffed toy.
"Cookie Monster has a special place, right? He's been to countless medical procedures, countless surgeries," said Jennifer Carter. "He's absorbed countless tears and so we were hoping that he'd help Aidan through the next six months of medical treatments while we're here."
Aidan was devastated when he discovered cookie had been taken, yet still he managed to be strong for his brother and sister who were scared by the burglary. "Aidan, instead of him being worried, what he did, is he supported my sister and me," said Owen Carter.
San Francisco police say despite the fact Cookie Monster doesn't have a high dollar value, they understand that to Aidan, he's priceless, and are working hard to find Cookie, the backpack and the thieves.
"Taraval Station investigations team are out there now, looking around the neighborhood for possible surveillance video, any possible witnesses," said Sgt. Michael Andraychak from the San Francisco Police Department.
Police also put the family in contact with Hunter's Chest, a charitable organization run by a pair of married San Francisco police officers, who work to help the youngest crime victims. "We're so grateful that you guys are helping Aidan and us to help Aidan find his backpack, and Cookie Monster," said Jennifer Carter. "So, thank you."
"You're welcome. So sorry it happened to you," said Sgt. Andraychak. "Rich and Jen are awesome people and they will do whatever they can to help you guys."
Now the Carter family is asking San Franciscans to look around the zoo, and the city, and try to bring Cookie home.